Despite Mumbai’s will, there’s just no way

All 3 Rail Lines Hit, 4,500 Rescued From Trains Stuck On Waterlogged Tracks

Mumbai: 5 Sept, 2019 (Times of India)

The city’s lifeline was badly hit on Wednesday as all three suburban corridors—Main, Harbour and Western lines-—were thrown out of gear on several stretches following torrential rain and overflowing of Mithi river. It was after four years that Western Railway, too, was affected due to waterlogging on tracks, said WR chief spokesperson Ravinder Bhakar, who added that “despite 500mm rainfall in over 36 hours, WR services were not completely suspended”.

There was chaos and crowds at stations and inside coaches. Nearly 4,500 commuters were rescued from local and long-distance trains by RPF, railway staff and slum-dwellers living along the tracks. “My train was stuck near Ghatkopar. The slum residents came to our rescue with ladders. We got off the train and walked to the station,” said a commuter.

Services between Sion and Matunga were the first to be hit as tracks got submerged. When it went past danger mark of 8 inches, CR suspended services on Thane-CSMT route at 12.30pm. This was followed by flooding at Chunabhatti on Harbour line, which bore the brunt of a swollen Mithi. Harbour line was shut at 1.05pm between Chunabhatti and Vashi, CSMT-Andheri/Goregaon corridor around 2.30pm, and later Belapur-Kharkopar on the fourth corridor. Later in day, irate commuters shouted slogans and protested at CSMT, Byculla and Dadar. One group tried to barge into the stationmaster’s office at Byculla, but were prevented by RPF.

The situation on WR beyond Vasai up to Virar was bad as water level rose above 300mm at Nalasopara, and services were suspended. WR also witnessed waterlogging on tracks at Mahim and Matunga, which hit services on Churchgate-Vasai corridor. “It’s after four to five years that we are witnessing such waterlogging at Mahim-Matunga. This was mainly due to Dharavi nullah not flushing out water on the tracks towards Mithi river,” said Bhakar.

Barring a few special trains running every half an hour on the fast track from Churchgate to Vasai, there were no services between Churchgate and Andheri and the frequency between Andheri and Vasai was “poor” till late afternoon, complained commuters, who waited on stations for two to four hours. Post 6pm, as rain subsided and water levels receded, fast trains from Churchgate resumed services 5.30pm onwards, the Virar-Vasai corridor restarted at 6.30pm. At 9pm, Churchgate-Virar services were restored, except on the slow corridor between Churchgate and Andheri due to waterlogging near Mahim.

CR chief spokesperson Shivaji Sutar said no train was marooned. “We deployed rescue teams across the section to evacuate trains.” Kurla-Kalyan services resumed at 12.15am and CSMT-Goregaon at 12.35pm.